Remote learning is in full swing as faculty members and students connect across multiple platforms including Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, Blackboard and more.
To prepare for engaging remotely, the Offices of Academic Affairs, Information Technology, and Online Education held several comprehensive workshops for faculty and staff. Professors volunteered to help their colleagues learn the ins and outs of teaching via the digital world.
Students from around the globe who returned to their home countries are connecting with their Caldwell community. Antonia Kirdyashkin of Australia appreciates that her professors have been accommodating her with the “bit tricky” time change. “They are working to help me and work this out and it’s been going well so far!”
The Jennings Library staff in conjunction with Academic Affairs collected devices from across the campus and IT updated the computers for students. The library staff organized and created a check out plan. Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Barbara Chesler reached out to the faculty to ask them to contact students to see who might need a device. History Professor Marie Mullaney and Associate Dean of Business and Computer Science Virginia Rich, among other faculty, made sure their students had what they needed for their studies. “I think these young students, especially first-year students, are growing up fast,” said Mullaney. “We at Caldwell care so much about our students…we had to be tenacious.” She “bombarded” her 77 students with emails until they replied that they did or did not need help. “This is a great pedagogical experiment,” said Mullaney.
Rich said it was a terrific collaborative effort across academic departments to loan their computer lab equipment, including Chromebooks and regular laptops, to students who have been accustomed to working in the computer labs and to faculty who use office computers. “My colleagues in the library and our student workers devised an efficient system to safely hand over clean computers. Everyone kept their hands clean and maintained appropriate social distance. It worked well.”